LYONS -- After missing an entire month with a concussion, Skyline's Braden Richards is quickly regaining the strength and confidence with which he entered his senior season.
At the Lyons Open on Saturday, Richards pinned Discovery Canyon's Ryan Byrnes in 4 minutes, 21 seconds to win the 120-pound title. Entering the bracket seeded last, the senior's 4-0 run through the competition spurred the Falcons to a second-place team finish.
"I wanted to go out there aggressive and fight," Richards said. "I've been kind of wary and I've been having some slow starts since my concussion and a couple other minor injuries. But I came out swinging and did my moves."
Ranked 15th in Class 4A in Tim Yount's latest On the Mat rankings, Saturday's triumph was Richards' third tournament finals appearance and second individual title this season. The Falcons finished second with 117.5 points behind Discovery Canyon's junior varsity, whose varsity is ranked third in Class 4A.
In the match before Richards', Falcons sophomore Ruben Rivera won a 9-6 decision over Lyons junior Cameron Grossnickle, who executed several crafty escapes, for the 113-pound title and his first high school tournament title. After beating Grossnickle at the Gary Daum Classic one week prior, Rivera said he knew was to expect from the Lions wrestler.
"I feel like I could improve, but overall I did alright," Rivera said. "I was pounding the head, keeping him busy and not giving him time to think. I was trying to stay back because I knew he was going to hit that switch. "
Justice Evans (132 pounds) and Steven Feltenberger (182) took second for the Falcons. Jesus Contreras (138) finished third.
Leading the ninth-place Lyons Lions, David Plute won a five-man round robin in the heavyweight division. Being the only pure heavyweight and wrestling against 220-pounders, Plute had to adjust his style in order to get four pins.
"I had to be a lot quicker on my feet," Plute said. "I had to use a lot more of my strength than I normally do with those heavier guys where I can just kind of tilt them. It was a challenge and it was a great learning experience."
Natural 220-pounder Gaspar Vasquez took second to Plute, who dealt him his only loss, in the round robin.
Also for the Lyons, freshman Will Hickman pinned Broomfield's Chase Miller in 3:47 to take third at 106 pounds. Kelton Tschanz also finished third, pinning Discovery Canyon's Zach Campbell in the 152-pound consolation finals. Kanyon Raper finished fourth at 126 pounds.
Plute, the Lions' senior captain, said the team held their own on Saturday despite missing two wrestlers with concussions, one with a broken collarbone and another because of chronic soreness.
"We've had a lot of injuries but the guys that we do have come to practice every day, they work their butts off and they really showed it tonight," Plute said.
Longmont sophomore Eloy Valdez won the 132-pound title for the Trojans junior varsity, which finished eighth. He pinned Evans in 5:08 in the championship match. Claiming a second sophomore title for the Trojans, Fernando Ramos-Vega pinned Discovery's Canyon's Schyler James in 2:57 in the 160-pound championship match.
Reilly Terranova claimed a second-place finish for the Trojans at 126 pounds.
The Broomfield junior varsity finished 11th with 71.50 points. Erie's junior varsity took 13th with 11 points and Silver Creek's junior varsity took 14th with five points.
Follow Brad on Twitter: @BradCochi
At Lyons HS
Team scores -- Discovery Canyon JV A 194, Skyline 117.50, Roosevelt 107, Littleton 83.50, Discovery Canyon JV B 83, Faith Christian 80, Estes Park 78, Longmont JV 77, Lyons 75, Platte Valley JV 73, Broomfield JV 71.50, Clear Creek 27, Erie JV 11, Silver Creek JV 5.
106 -- Spencer Reynolds, Discovery Canyon, pinned Patrick Hannah, Discovery Canyon, 2:00.
113 -- Ruben Rivera, Skyline, dec. Cameron Grossnickle, Lyons, 9-6.
120 -- Braden Richards, Skyline, pinned Ryan Byrnes, Discovery Canyon, 4:21.
126 -- Zach Barker, Platte Valley, pinned Reilly Terranova, Longmont, 3:48.
132 -- Eloy Valdez, Longmont, pinned Justice Evans, Skyline, 5:08.
138 -- Cristian Wacker, Platte Valley, pinned Keagan Davis, Roosevelt, 2:36.
145 -- Clark Kelly, Faith Christain, pinned Manish Shankar, Estes Park, 3:01.
152 -- Jeff Burbach, Discovery Canyon, pinned Ben Christy, Discovery Canyon, 0:27.
160 -- Fernando Ramos-Vega, Longmont, pinned Schyler James, Discovery Canyon, 2:57.
170 -- Nate WeWitt, Estes Park, pinned Cameron Packwood, Discovery Canyon, 3:17.
182 -- Alex Weber, Discovery Canyon, maj. dec. Steven Feltenberger, Skyline, 8-0.
195 -- Tyler Hayden, Roosevelt, pinned Zach Kennedy, Littleton, 1:49.
285 -- David Plute, Lyons, won five-man round robin, 4-0.
106 -- Will Hickman, Lyons, pinned Chase Miller, Broomfield, 3:47.
113 -- Poe Di, Littleton, pinned Justice Do, Discovery Canyon, 2:04.
120 -- Dylan Harlan, Discovery Canyon, pinned Connor Ventura, Broomfield, 3:07.
126 -- Trenton Honken, Discovery Canyon, dec. Kanyon Raper, Lyons, 6-0.
132 -- Zach Courrejou, Roosevelt, dec. Tim Crowther, Discovery Canyon, 4-0.
138 -- Jesus Contreras, Skyline, pinned Austin Albrighton, Platte Valley, 0:26.
145 -- Quincy Campbell, Discovery Canyon, dec. Logan Wagner, Longmont, 7-5.
152 -- Kelten Tschanz, Lyons, pinned Zach Campbell, Discover Canyon, 2:47.
160 -- Tanner Bonds, Roosevelt, dec. Gerard Ruybal, Littleton, 9-8.
170 -- Seth Von Renizell, Faith Christian, won by default.
182 -- Max Madorsky, Littleton, dec. Chris Siebarth, Faith Christian, 7-1.
195 -- Christian Steiner, Broomfield, dec. Michael Montoro, Broomfield, 10-3.
285 -- Gaspar Vasquez, Lyons, second in five-man round robin, 3-1.